Friday, May 18, 2007

Story Forums for Everyone

New today! Forums linked to stories are now available for all readers to see.

When Readers Club launched last August, 2006, the site began to split into two, with many features remaining in the old Members area. Since then, I've been slowly rebuilding parts of the site to bring these hidden areas where all members - Author/Editors or Readers - can use them, as well as showing off as much as possible to non-member readers. It is a complicated process to unearth the old code and rework it to fit into the new structure.

When HASA forums were first created, they were only available to members. Trying to sort out members from non-members, reading permissions, posting permissions and the like was a huge headache. As the site started to open up, the Forums remained tucked away down in the basement of the old Members area.

Forums existed before Comments and gave members a place to comment on each others' stories. When Comments were activated and then moved up and out to the public side, members stopped using the Forums so much. They were buried, hard to get to, and more complicated to use than Comments. However, as we've seen over the last month, there is a need for a place for threaded discussions where people can post longer messages and have better spoiler control.

Now we do. Stories can be linked to Forums (How-to posts coming up later) and these links will appear on the story overview and individual chapter pages.

  • If you are a registered member, whether Reader Club or Author/Editor, you can join the forum and post messages.
  • If you are a non-member reader, you can read all posts in open status forums, though you cannot post any replies of your own. This is in keeping with our standard site rules of no anonymous posting.

This is only the first step in freeing Forums from the basement. It will take substantially more work to migrate the entire Forum system to the public level, but it will be done. In the mean time, authors, think about linking a forum to your stories and, readers, look for forum links on the overview and chapter pages.

Happy reading and commenting!

HASA Site Manager

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